Once Somerset pacers made quick inroads into the top order of Auckland Aces, it was always going to be an uphill task for the New Zealand team. And the Aces didn't find too many avenues to bounce back as they went down tamely to suffer their second successive defeat in the Champions League T20
clash at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium on Tuesday.
Aces managed only 125 for seven, but they made a fine bowling fightback and pushed it into another nail-biting contest like their loss to KKR, Steve Snell ( 33 not out) and James Hildreth (34 off 34 balls) rallied Somerset before the English side squeezed to victory off the last ball, winning by four wickets.
As much as the Trinidad and Tobago openers looked to have fallen in love with the Hyderabad wicket, their counterparts at Leicestershire Foxes were just not willing to give in to its charms. In an encounter that the English outfit will look to forget as quickly as possible, T&T won by 51 runs.
Making a beeline
Chasing a big target of 169 runs, the Foxes should have been in a hurry to score runs. Instead, they seemed to be in a tremendous hurry to return to the dressing room. Samuel Badree struck twice, and so did Ravi Rampaul. And add one more from Sunil Narine - the Foxes were squeaking at 20 for five after six overs. The only man who had an answer on this sub-continent wicket, Pakistani all-rounder Abdul Razzaq tried to push through a partnership with James Taylor.
Hoisting Sherwin Ganga for a six, he made it clear that the Caribbeans still had some work to do before winning. But with more than two runs needed of every ball in the last half, Razzaq could only delay the inevitable. And once he departed for 21, the only question was by how many runs will the county team lose.
Brief scores: Auckland 125/7 (Vincent 47; Thomas 2-21); Somerset 126/6 (Hildreth 34, Snell 34 no; Bates 2-13)